VEX Via usage

I don’t know about anyone else, but all the VEX Competitions I’ve volunteered at and participated in don’t use VEX via. Has anyone else had a different experience? I haven’t seen the app in use, but I’m curious about it. Does it work well? Is it good?

It is not bad. It pulls from robotevents.com so if the person set up TM to keep robotevents.com updated it works fine. It is well optimized for a phone or tablet and allows you to get the data laid out and sorted better.

VEX Via is a benefit in venues where the pit areas are far from the competition fields. It allows teams to get updates and generally be able to see how things are going without standing in front of a large screen. Easy to setup in TM. Some events don’t run it for a number of reasons. We configure it for our events even though venue is compact and pit display is running in multiple areas.

Now if I can only remember not to lose the WIFI access code for the events, teams would be happier with me.

VEX VIA is great in my opinion. We used VEX VIA at our tournament yesterday and there wasn’t a single team that missed a match. It works beautifully in coordination with Tournament Manager.

I am an event partner and had trouble finding information on how to setup Tournament Manager with VEX Via. I found the setting that supposedly submits results to VEX Via, but initially my event would show up on the list of competitions. Later on during the event I checked the app and miraculously it was there. I am still not 100% sure how I made it happen. Let me know if anyone has instructions pertaining to setting up TM for VEX Via.

There are no specific instructions.

It is my understanding that you just need to have an internet connection when the Tournament Manager server starts up; then it’ll do the rest automatically.

From the Tournament Manager Manual:

When you are doing the tournament setup you need to select the first option to publish to RobotEvents.com during the event. Then VEX Via will be able to push the updates to mobile clients.

This is not the default behavior, you need to SELECT this option.

We use a custom scouting app we’ve developed within our team, and it relies on the live results from TM (via the VexDB API). In addition, VEX Via also makes seeing match results and rankings way easier (vs. standing in front of a pit display while it scrolls). I always appreciate when events have the live uploading feature enabled, although in my experience it’s typically only larger events like State and Worlds that enable it consistently.

So it works as advertised. I downloaded the app on iOS. It looks as if it hasn’t been updated for a while. I guess it hasn’t changed much. Does VEX Via only show information about individual events? If I were to select a team, would I be able to see all the events a team participated in or only the matches a team participated in at one event? I tried looking at it myself, but I don’t know if it acts differently if it’s actually getting live updates compared to if I check outside when an event is ongoing.

Could I see the scouting app?

@Hidden VEX Via only works for individual events and only shows information for a team at a specific event. However, VexDB can do what you described (for example, seeing every event a team has competed at this year).

As for our scouting application, it’s not publicly available and isn’t ready for that yet, but if you’re interested in trying it out with your team(s), you can certainly PM me and we can talk.

Here in Wisconsin, we encourage ALL event partners to enable the “publish to Robotevents” so that their event can be seen on both the Robotevents page for the event and on VEX Via.

The justification for not using it at my events we’re because the TM software crashes frequently, and if something happens offline, such as scores not saving or software completely crashing, we wouldn’t want the online scores/alerts to be affected in any way.

That should not happen. TM backs up its data fairly frequently. We had issues of restarts, but never data corruption or pushing out bad data.

Is this personal experience or are you just relaying something you’ve heard?

If anyone is having trouble with TM, PLEASE let us know by sending a report to our support email address (support@dwabtech.com). There’s been over 1000 events so far this season that were run with TM and we’ve received almost no reports of anything going wrong. Basically, what you’re saying doesn’t come close to matching what we’re hearing as far as TM reliability, so clearly one of us is misinformed.

If you do experience an issue, the best way to help us make TM better is to send us a report with as much details as you can. First, use the “File->Save Log Files” option in TM and attach that to your email. Then, document as much as possible about what went wrong - what you observed, what time it happened, what next steps you took, etc.

It’s really frustrating for us to see 100+ events played every weekend (we get emails every time an event uploads final results) and not hear a word (which we have to assume means everything is going OK), then come on the forums and read comments like “TM software crashes frequently”. If anyone is experiencing that we’d really like to know so we can get to the bottom of it. If no one reports any problems then we have no way of knowing that there’s issues that need to be looked into.

Thanks.

Personal experience. I normally run TM at the events I volunteer at, and there have been times where TM wouldn’t even launch (mac version), and sometimes where TM server spontaneously crashes when doing nothing unusual (running/scoring matches, alliance selection, skills), bringing the event to a halt. Normally our events are run on unrestricted, but school owned computers. Where are the log files stored on the computers? If my school hasn’t wiped the laptops we used yet, I can try to get the log files from these events.

Have you experienced that issue since the January version of TM was released? There was a problem that was actually Apple’s fault in macOS Sierra that could cause TM to fail before the GUI was displayed, but only in certain computer configurations (computers where certain sharing settings had never been enabled). The January version of TM includes a change that works around Apple’s breakage so this shouldn’t be happening anymore.

We’ve received no reports of this that I’m aware of, so please forward those logs if you are able. The easiest way is if you’re able to start TM, then select File->Save Log Files from the TM menu bar. If not, the log files are located in your home directory, under Library->Application Support->VEX Tournament Manager->Logs.

Thanks for your help.

I experienced that mac issue a few days before that version was released, but I can’t get you the logs to confirm that is what happened because it was a laptop of someone trying to help out whom I am not in contact with.

Where would the logs be on windows?

I have only done 4 tournaments, but TM is awesome and the problems I have had at tournaments are hardware problems.

  1. I ran TM on as computer that overheated, we ran it in a cafeteria that didn’t have AC. So, it crashed a few times because of that. Never used the cafeteria again.

  2. TM mobile stopped working because too many people in the room we using their WiFi. At my next tournament, I asked participants and fans to turn off their WiFi and it worked great.

  3. If your event is at a school and you can’t get on VEX Via, it’s the school firewall blocking it.

  4. I had trouble printing off of a computer not running the TM server, I made sure to run the printer off of the computer running the TM server in the future.

  5. All new EP’s: READ THE MANUEL AND DO A MOCK TOURNAMENT AHEAD OF TIME!!! If you try and set up your first tournament the morning of you are not going to have a good time.

I’ve volunteered at a IQ competition were they were planning on using Vex Via but due to the fact that some schools block the creation of servers on their network we couldn’t use it.